How to Rest in God's Presence
How do you take time to rest?
I’m not talking about what you do on the weekends when you’re off work. I’m talking about how you weave rest into the very fabric of your day-to-day life.
Jesus understood what it was like to be busy. He taught people daily, performed miracles, and traveled from town to town. But he also understood the importance of rest. And not just any type of rest—true rest. The kind of rest that would sustain him and prepare him for the work that God called him to do on earth.
God designed rest because he knew that we would need it. And Jesus modeled a kind of rest that wasn’t a one-time occurrence but a lifestyle. This idea of making intentional space to be in God’s presence is called Sabbath.
But isn’t Sabbath just for the Old Testament? Didn’t Jesus break the Sabbath?
In Jesus’ time, the Pharisees had taken what God intended for the Sabbath to be and created rules around it. Instead of the Sabbath bringing joy and refreshment in God’s presence, it became a list of rules.
In John Mark Comer’s book, Garden City, he points out that Jesus performed a lot of his healing miracles on the Sabbath. Time and time again, the Pharisees would ridicule Jesus for healing people on the Sabbath because it went against their list of rules. They were blinded by their rules that they couldn’t see that Jesus was transforming lives.
“Sabbath is a day of healing… it’s about creating an environment where it’s easy for Jesus to do his healing work” (Comer 229).
The Pharisees missed the point. Sabbath is an opportunity for us to enjoy God’s creation. It’s a mindset. It’s a lifestyle. It’s a habit.
Throughout his ministry, Jesus would take time to be alone with God in prayer. It wasn’t because his ministry was unimportant. It was because his ministry was too important not to rest and be in tune with God and his Word.
No matter how big the crowds were or how many people needed to be healed, Jesus never compromised resting in God’s presence.
But somehow that’s the first thing we tend to compromise.
What we have to understand is that we have to prioritize God if we are going to glorify him in our work and our relationships. You cannot work well if you do not know how to rest well.
The type of rest that Jesus models is a lifestyle of abiding in God and his creation.
What is distracting you from the rest and peace Jesus is inviting you into? Today, ask him for guidance and healing. Rest - truly rest - in his presence.
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
Kali Gibson is the editor-in-chief for So We Speak and a copywriter for the Youversion Bible App.